Housing vouchers for vets in need

Joint effort to aid homeless veterans

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  • | 9:50 a.m. July 2, 2013
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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Nine thousand veterans are going to receive vouchers for permanent housing.

A joint effort between Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs will spend $60 million at public-housing agencies across the country to provide Section 8 housing for veterans.

Called HUD-VASH, for HUD Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing, the program not only provides most of the cost of rentals, but also case management and services from nearby VA medical centers. Many homeless veterans suffer from chronic disabling conditions, such as mental health or substance abuse disorders, or physical disabilities. Veterans who are accepted into the program are expected to participate in case management, treatment recommendations and assistance for recovery. Here are some specifics:

• Veterans in the program won’t pay any more than 30 percent of their income for rent.

• Both single veterans and those with families are eligible for housing.

• Veterans must be able to complete daily living activities and live independently in the community with the support services and case management.

The VA is making headway in tackling homelessness, with the goal of putting an end to veteran homelessness by 2015. Statistics show a 17 percent decline since 2009. So far, it’s put 42,557 formerly homeless veterans into housing through the VASH program. More funds will be announced this summer.

If you’re a homeless veteran, or know of one, find out if you qualify for the housing assistance program by contacting the VA’s National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 1- 877-424-3838. You might be referred to the point person for the homeless program at the closest VA facility.

If you’re unemployed, ask about the Homeless Veteran Supported Employment Program for job development and vocational assistance.

Email Freddie Groves at [email protected] © 2013 King Features Synd. Inc.